One can read into this a good bit of autobiography, by the author of World Can End, one of the first stories out of the Russian revolution -- and more recently of Little Era. But it is written as straight fiction, set in the period of the extravagant, exuberant Czarist regime. Tamara is lively, buoyant, and theirs is a gay household, with the twins and their pranks. Tamara's is the traditional, noble upbringing, constant chaperonage, genteel schooling, debut, career as maid of honor at court, in spite of her gypsy strain. She falls in love -- but is forced into marriage elsewhere, a marriage that brings only unhappiness and finally separation. Then comes war and revolution -- and escape, with the aid of the gypsies. A lively tale, with the flss -- and drss -- of the period and the milleu.